Many years ago a young girl and her grandfather were walking a miles long beach. The old man spoke to her with awe in his voice.
“Do you see all the grains of sand on this beach? Do you see the countless droplets of water in the ocean? There is something much greater than all these, and it fills my soul to bursting. My only wish for you is that some day you experience The Infinite.”
And the girl saw wondrous joy in the eyes of this wise, wise man.
Years later, the girl was a young woman, determined and brilliant. All she wanted was to understand and feel close to The Infinite, to know all the possibilities the Universe could offer. She studied for years and acquired advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, theology, and chaos theory from the top universities across the globe. After all this education, she still felt no closer to knowing The Infinite.
She sought out the most respected mathematician in the world and she insisted to her, “Explain The Infinite to me. I want to experience the totality of the Universe,”
The mathematician, a woman of immense learning and the solver of many impossible mathematical quandaries, wrote out equation upon equation to prove to her tireless pupil the existence of infinity.
But it was no use.
“I know it exists. I want to see it. I want to experience it,” the woman complained and then she looked into the mathematician’s eyes and only saw an obsession with numbers and added, “I’m not sure you know The Infinite.”
She then visited the most brilliant physicist in the world and asked him to show her The Infinite, the endless possibilities the Universe could offer.
The physicist showed her fantastic pictures of the heavens, he let her view stars, galaxies, and planets through the most powerful telescopes on Earth and in space. But none of this helped the woman feel connected to The Infinite and she suspected the physicist was more enthralled with the technology at his disposal than the totality of the Universe.
Next this, now middle aged, woman became a student of the greatest divine mystic and theologian the world had ever known and this wise, bearded man told her, “You must look inside yourself and find the connection you have to the Universe and The Infinite within you.”
The woman spent several years meditating with this guru and looked deep into herself, but in the end all she found were a lot of random thoughts, and not even an infinite number of those.
“I do not see infinity, Master, and I do not think I can find it within myself. And furthermore, looking in your eyes, I do not think you know The Infinite.”
“You believe. You have faith. But you do not have the patience for this work. Of course, I do not yet see the infinite! It takes decades. We might only see it when we pass on and merge with the Universe,” the mystic scolded.
She left the mystic and traveled the world trying to experience The Infinite for herself. She climbed the highest peaks, traveled the longest rivers, crossed the widest continents, dove the deepest oceans and she still did not have the slightest sense of The Infinite. She felt empty, not full to bursting.
Eventually, after years of travel, now an old woman, she found herself hobbling along the miles long beach contemplating the grains of sand and the molecules of sea water stretched out before her. She felt empty, even here. She sank to the warm sand in utter despair and desolation and cried at the loss of the years of her life spent looking for a wonder she knew was there, and yet she failed to experience.
“Why are you sad?” The voice was soft, so very quiet and gentle.
She turned and looked into the shining, bright eyes of a small child. And she smiled and felt her soul overflow with wondrous joy.
The little boy, with a plastic bucket and shovel said, “Do you want to play?”
And after years and years of searching, the woman played and laughed with The Infinite.